The Geocaching Blog


Sunshine and Pancakes — Punakaiki Pancakes Earthcache (GCN98H) — Geocache of the Week

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A beautiful view of the unedible pancakes and the tropical locale. Photo by geocacher Kulturmensch

A beautiful view of the unedible pancakes and the tropical locale. Photo by geocacher Kulturmensch

 

Geocache Name:

Punakaiki Pancakes Earthcache (GCN98H)

 

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

2/1

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

There’s no denying the fact that the best cure for the wintertime blues are summer and breakfast foods—more specifically, pancakes. Conveniently, the entire Southern Hemisphere is enjoying their summer right now and this EarthCache will bring you to some of Mother Nature’s own pancakes—just don’t try to eat them. When you earn a smiley for this EarthCache, you’ll not only get to take in some breathtaking views, you’ll also learn an Earth-science lesson.

Did you know that EarthCaches are a joint effort between the Geological Society of America, Geocaching.com and other partners? All EarthCaches are reviewed by the EarthCache team. Some geocachers have proposed geocache types similar to EarthCaches for history or some other subject. For that to be a reality, we encourage you to find credible, independent organizations and partners who would be willing to administer the program.

 

What geocachers are saying:

“It’s so incredible what the nature can do! We love it! As much as we love health blueberry pancakes! (And pancake cake with icecream)” – Janssson

“It was good to wander round this interesting area again. Having researched this type of phenomenon for the questions, have realised how rare it is. Thanks for the cache, I have learnt something!” – MadCat9

“For Christmas Day brunch – these are the world’s best Pancakes ever ! Obviously lots of people like ourselves roaming amongst the stacks of panacke rocks on Christmas day. Enjoyed the circuit stroll on a well engineered walkway through a world where imagination conjures up many possibilities. Deserves a Fav for a stunning location.” – La Vista

 Photos:

Pano shot from geocacher Blackpearl_Oberberg

Pano shot from geocacher Blackpearl_Oberberg

Close-up of the pancakes. Photo by geocacher helennbrian

Close-up of the pancakes. Photo by geocacher helennbrian

A happy geocacher makes the find! Photo by CacheUsIfYouCan!

A happy geocacher makes the find! Photo by CacheUsIfYouCan!

Which EarthCache you’ve found has had the most incredible views? Tell us and post photos in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!

The Lackey Geocoin: An Unexpected 26,000-mile, 5-Year Journey

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By Holly Walker, Geocaching HQ Guest Experience Coordinator

There’s the “you” when you begin a journey, then if by magic, there’s a completely different “you” when you finish a journey. As geocachers, we’ve all experienced this phenomenon. You learn and you grow and you change, even if ever so slightly, into a new person. And so it’s the same as we vicariously travel through Geocaching game pieces known as Travel Bugs®. We’re able to track an object as it moves around the world to new places. And sometimes when we see that Travel Bug, years later, the whole world we know has changed. This is one of those stories.

On February 7, 2010, Arkfiremedic placed a 2009 Groundspeak Lackey Geocoin in a Travel Bug hotel in Arkansas. The mission? “Try to make it back to Groundspeak Headquarters [in Seattle, WA] from Arkansas.” Lackey Geocoins are limited edition items annually released by Geocaching Headquarters. Commemorating its employees, or Lackeys as they we occasionally (and lovingly) referred to by the community, these Geocoins feature each Lackey’s unique pixel icon, an artistic characterization of each person and a rite of passage when hired. (You can see that latest Geocaching HQ Logbook Geocoin or Lackey Geocoin here.)

What could have been a simple 2,000 mile trip from Arkansas to Geocaching HQ across the country became, in the end, much more. This 2009 Geocoin, featuring just under 30 Geocaching Lackeys, spent nearly five years traveling to eleven different US states, visiting three countries across three continents, and logging over 26,000 miles all in an effort to visit us. To the delight of the coin’s owner, this lackey geocoin reached its final destination a couple weeks ago. On January 5, 2015, the coin finally arrived at Geocaching Headquarters and met a staff of over 80 lackeys! My how things have changed here at headquarters in the last 5 years!

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Shortly after arriving, the Geocoin was discovered and photographed by the Lackeys and quickly retrieved that afternoon by a kind geocacher visiting HQ. Wondering where the coin is headed next? “The coin would love to come back to sunny Arkansas to retire the rest of its days in its owner’s collections.” And off it went back into the world…

This is just one of the many awesome trackable stories we encounter each day at our office. You’re invited to join. Schedule a hosted visit with us the next time you find yourself in Seattle. Discover all the interesting trackables our geocache contains and pick up your own Lackey Geocoin. Or activate a trackable from home and send it our way to travel the world for you. Who knows what kinds of adventures it may have.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway

Holly in the Geocaching HQ lobby

Holly in the Geocaching HQ lobby

 

 

Be a Part of What’s Next for Geocaching

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What’s Next for Geocaching

2015 is set to be a big year for geocaching. While winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) is typically our slowest time of year, this year the gears have been turning and new ideas have been assembled. We’ve been busy innovating, creating, and experimenting—and it’s all been fueled by you, the geocaching community. In the first edition of What’s Next for Geocaching, you’ll learn how Geocaching HQ and the 9-million-strong geocaching community have come together to forge new tools, features and upgrades. Plus, you’ll have a chance to be involved, too.

Innovation and Inspiration, Fueled by You

At Geocaching HQ, one of the many reasons we love geocaching is the creativity and inventiveness of the community that molds and shapes the game. To honor that creativity and inventiveness, we’re making a concerted effort to put the geocaching community at the forefront of inspiration for what we’re working on. The first step: listening.

Meet Jayme!

Meet Jayme!

Meet Jayme. She has been a geocacher since 2008 and has earned nearly 9000 smileys. Now, she serves as the User Insights Analyst at Geocaching HQ. Jayme is responsible for bringing the voice of the geocaching community into the product development process.

She says, “We want to delight geocachers. To do so, we know we need to listen to the community’s needs, wants, and desires.”

To get a read on the community’s needs, Jayme organizes player surveys, forum discussions, geocacher play-testers and games. You read that right, games! Geocachers are invited to participate in activities called innovation games. These specially designed exercises help us better understand what geocachers want and even help guide the future of geocaching.

Jayme says, “There is a feeling of collaboration when a certain group of people are given a challenge and have to come up with a solution together. The games encourage thinking outside-of-the-box, working with other people, and they open up players’ eyes to how others geocache in other parts of the world and how challenging it can be to build a product that serves all geocachers, everywhere.”

So far, geocachers have played innovation games at the Geocaching Block Party and at Mega-Events in Germany and Spain. This year, Geocaching HQ’ers will be hosting games at even more Mega-Events around the world to learn what geocachers need to create the ultimate toolset for their geocaching experience.

Get Involved

Throughout 2015, we’ll be releasing a series of geocacher-inspired features. We think they are pretty awesome and we hope you will too.

To start, Geocaching Premium members will get a sneak peek at the new Advanced Search tool. It’s been completely retooled, revamped and streamlined based on geocaching community feedback. Now you’ll be able to find the exact adventure you want, easier. Keep an eye out for an email with more details.

It doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, there will be more opportunities to have your voice heard and influence the future of geocaching. There are a few ways to take part:

  • Take advantage of your Geocaching Premium sneak peeks and send us your feedback.
  • Sign up to participate in innovation games at the Geocaching Block Party and other Mega-Events.*
  • Watch the User Insights thread in the Geocaching Forums for opportunities to give feedback.
  • Sign up for Tips & Tricks to receive surveys about geocaching ideas and innovations.

We can’t wait to show you more of What’s Next for Geocaching, so stay tuned!

*More information about innovation games coming soon.

Epic Winter Adventure Awaits! – Georgia on my mind (GCV3AH) – Geocache of the Week

 

Get to the choppa! Err..I mean the cache!

Get to the choppa! Err..I mean the cache!

 

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Geocache Name:

Georgia on my mind (GCV3AH)

 

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

2.5/3.5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

All across the Northern Hemisphere, geocachers are braving colder temps in order to earn smileys, keep streaks alive and get outdoors. It’s difficult to stay stoked on geocaching while the weather isn’t ideal, so this week’s Geocache of the Week is a little bit of winter inspiration. Not only is it the first geocache in Georgia (the country), it’s nestled high-up on a mountain, ready for skiers and snowboarders to find it. The team that hid this geocache made their trip even more epic by working it into their heli-skiing adventure.

 

What geocachers are saying:

“Quite a quick find after some walk on a sunny day. The mountains here are wonderful! Hopefully I will be able to come back here in winter to snowboard a bit. Thanks a lot for the cache! Greetings from Latvia!” – Inez Rodriguez

“Great Cache! the view was amazing! First time in Georgia, but not the last one. Sun, skiing, and Geocaching. TFTC!” – KlizmaHH

“This is until now the most beautiful site of a georgian cache! And i’m happy to found it. It’s good to breath fresh air after much time in Tbilisi and Batumi. The cache is in perfect condition and don’t need any kind of maintenance!” – Gumpf

 Photos:

Where the adventure begins.

Where the adventure begins.

Carving some nice tracks on the way to GZ.

Carving some nice tracks on the way to GZ.

Even in summer, this geocache provides beautiful views. Photo by geocacher Vikani

Even in summer, this geocache provides beautiful views. Photo by geocacher Vikani

That's a pretty sweet Geo-Mobile!

That’s a pretty sweet Geo-Mobile!

The team of geocachers who hid this geocache.

The team of geocachers who hid this geocache.

A geocacher's view from the cache site. Photo by KlizmaHH

A geocacher’s view from the cache site. Photo by KlizmaHH

What’s the most epic winter adventure you’ve had? Tell us and post photos in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!

Meet Me at the Mega-Event in Berlin, Bring an Extra Coat

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Amy (left) with a geocacher at the Berlin Mega-Event

 

Berlin in November is cold. Very cold. However, my trip last month to Germany for Mega-Berlin was more heart warming than I could have ever imagined.

The weekend full of events began Friday night with a Meet & Greet (GC4YYYX). The venue for the weekend’s activities was a lost place named Motowerk, a former factory of breakthrough electrical engines and elevators that opened in 1914. During world War II, the British government became aware of the factory and, in a raid on Berlin, dropped 24 bombs on the company grounds. Miraculously, the production hall and all of the company’s employees were unharmed.

After the war, the building was turned over to the Russians and used as a publicly owned business manufacturing condensers in the GDR. After the German reunification the factory became a location for events and, ultimately, the setting for Berlin’s largest Mega-Event to date, Mega-Berlin.

The Meet & Greet event had 1500 geocachers in attendance who enjoyed exchanging geocaching stories in between sets from the Polkaholix, a German, polk/punk band.

 

After a fun filled night, I returned to Motowerk bright and early the following day for the big event (GC4YYYY). The event hall was busy with geocachers, vendors, and activities around every corner. After checking out all of the vendors and walking through the children paradise and seeing all of the creative and fun activities there were for the kids, I headed out to find some of the nearby geocaches with a few geocachers I had just met.

If I didn’t mention this before, it was cold (really cold) but that wasn’t going to stop us—there was a variety of geocaches in the area to be found.

Returning to the event, I stopped by the event map and realized that there were geocachers from all over the world in attendance. This was truly a global event.

The best part of the event for me was hearing the stories from geocachers and seeing how the Berlin geocaching community came together to produce this event.

The next morning I returned again to the event hall for the Secret Santa Breakfast (GC4YYYZ). I sat down for breakfast with a few Swedes that I met at the event, Team-Prince and Palmarna. We had a great breakfast discussing geocaching events and experiences. The organizers of the event had arranged a gift exchange for the event. You drop off a gift, get a ticket, and return later to pick up your gift. My gift was a stocking full of all kinds of geocaching goodies and some candy!

Overall, I had a great time in Berlin and met some fabulous people while I was at the event. I cannot thank the geocachers I came across and the Orga Team for all of the hospitality they showed me during my visit.


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